This is a small place. However, don’t let the size fool you because this place has much to offer and you can learn loads of things here. This is an interactive place in Faro. A place where you learn about the ocean, about the wildlife, space and loads more. Sure the kids love it but we believe that the parents love this place too. Make sure you visit the Algarve Live Science Center while in Faro.
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Visit the Algarve Live Science Center
When we came to visit this place there were a lot of children there. They were all orphans and were at the Science Center to have some fun and to learn more about the Algarve and space and loads more. Is that not the sweetest thing ever? We love places that open their doors for the less fortunate and that kind of showed me what kind of vibes this place had!
You are supposed to touch and turn and squeeze and everything in between. And here is the most important tips for all visitors. Make sure to take your time while here. There is a lot of interesting things here so make sure not to miss them. The reason I point that out is that I do believe that a lot of people come here and walk around and then they leave. If you stop and read the signs and ask questions to the people working there you will get so much more out of your visit.
Inside the waters of Ria Formosa
The touch pool inside is very interesting. (I think that the aquarium is good enough without the touching part.) However, I do have to tell you that I could not resist to pet the toadfish. It really felt like a toad and I had never seen such a fish before. All the creatures that are inside the touch pool are animals that can survive above water. So there is no risk that a starfish that you pick up will die! However, maybe it’s just better to look and not to touch ;).
Our guide was Emanuel and he showed us around the place during our visit. We learned so much from him, it was so fascinating. For example… did you know that the sea cucumber was almost totally extinct from the waters in Portugal? Why? Because they were very heave poached during a long time. But they were not poached for food because the Portuguese don’t eat sea cucumbers. They were sold to China where they are eaten and they are believed to have some healthy effects. A good thing is that the government noticed that they were disappearing fast so they put a ban on picking sea cucumbers in Portugal.
Birdwatching from the roof of Algarve Live Science Center
You are allowed to walk to the rooftop of the building. From here you see the Ria Formosa and you can do some really great bird watching. There are about 60 different species of birds here so that’s amazing. And on the rooftop, you also have a café during the summer. So you can sit down and just enjoy the amazing view and have a great time. But be aware that the best time for birdwatching is early in the morning. The water is so clear here that you can see the fishes swim past during high tide!
But there is another thing that is really awesome and that you shall not miss while up on the rooftop. There is an astronomical clock – this clock is easy to miss but it is also one of the coolest things here because it is so accurate!
Astronomical clock – your shadow shows the time
For us, this was the first time that we got to see and try this type of clock. The thing is that you stand on the month and then the shadow from your body will show you the time – how awesome is that?! My first thought was to make this outside my sister’s house and then they could use it as the perfect party trick. It turns out that these are not easy to make. It is not just drawing on the ground. No, there are all kinds of factors and angles you have to have in mind while creating a clock like this. But don’t trust our word for it. Try it out yourself while visiting.
On the last Friday each month they have an astronomy meeting and do some star watching. And downstairs there is a section dedicated to astronomy too. There is also a measurement instrument that measures gravity. There are only a few of them scattered out over the world and one of them is here in Faro. And then you can also see how much you would weigh if you lived on the different planets. And by the way… we want to live on the moon ;).
Interactive and a great learning opportunity
The tip we want to give to you is to grab someone that is working here and ask them about the things you don’t understand or don’t know what they are. I got very fascinated by the different lava rocks. Who knew that lava could weigh so much and so little depending on where it comes from?! Well, I didn’t! And the building that hosts the Science center is also very interesting and has a rich history.
In 1910 the building was the first power plant building in Faro. After that, the building was abandoned and then it turned into a fire station. And today it is the home of the science center.
Information about Algarve Live Science Center
Address: R. Cmte. Francisco Manuel 41, 8000-250 Faro, Portugal.
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Friday: 10.00 – 17.00. Saturday – Sunday: 10.00 – 18.00. Mondays closed.
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